Where does the time go? Q1 is in the books and Q2 is nearly one third complete. More than a quarter of the year already down. Summer’s upon us and you may have a mid-year sales training event coming up. Where should you focus? How do you make your number by making sales enablement more effective? A focus on the fundamentals is the place to start. As a guide to the discussion, download our workbook and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.
Sales Coaching Matters
At sales kickoff, you’ve already run a number of sales training sessions. Maybe you even rolled out a tweak to the sales process. Or an entirely new process altogether. That’s great. But are you preparing your MOST important sales resources to make a difference? Before blindly doubling down on sales training once again, review the recent interview Stop Checking the Box with Wasted Sales Training.
Your most important link to the field is the front-line sales manager. Are you enabling them to lead their teams more effectively on a daily basis? Setting their teams up for success? Use this Sales Coaching Scorecard to help produce better coaches. And better sales results.
This scorecard highlights key areas where coaching can make a large impact. It targets sales activities that produce results. Coaching these specific activities helps improve weaknesses in the field. Rep-by-rep. It helps uncover and target the areas needing the most attention. And it offers solutions at the right time. Better coaching helps the team drive richer prospect and customer interactions. Growing deal size and shortening the sales cycle.
Do Your Front-Line Managers Know How to Coach Success?
If your sales managers aren’t coaching, opportunities are being left on the table. Other enablement efforts can be a waste of time if this isn’t happening. You need to help your sales managers become better coaches. And make sure they’re coaching the right behaviors.
Coaching happens during the game, not just preseason. Front-line sales managers have to coach their team’s behavior in the battle. As they’re preparing for that next sales call. Meeting a new buyer persona. Calling on a new contact for the first time. And then again right after the call. Coaching and giving immediate feedback to make the next one better. Get the first downs and then the touchdowns will come.
What’s the Secret to Better Coaching?
Introduce micro-coaching to your sales managers. Micro-coaching is not an event scheduled at a specific time. It’s small, targeted interactions on a daily basis. Targeted at very specific behaviors. Specific parts of the selling process. Key interactions outlined in the scorecard. It’s more of a rhythm than an event. This type of coaching can be taught and it can be reinforced. Your enablement plans should include this coaching guidance. Micro-coaching to these behaviors will drive better results. Use the Sales Coaching Scorecard to help get your team started.
To coach effectively, four things need to happen. Front-line sales managers must:
- Get involved and encourage the right behaviors – Don’t wait for one-on-ones or regular pipeline reviews. Get involved in the selling activities on a regular basis. Join in on sales calls. Participate in the prep for the next customer meeting. Observe behavior. Use the scorecard to make sure reps are focused on the right activities.
- Ask good questions – Teach managers to inquire to help shed light on issues. To get better information from their team. Is the team focused on the right activities?
- Listen – Help them learn to actively listen to their team. By listening, managers will start to see the gaps. Gaps in their team’s skill set to target for development. Areas that the manager can help improve. Target areas for coaching.
- Communicate feedback – This communication is a two-way exercise. Managers must ensure they are communicating effectively and openly. Paying attention to their communication style. Making sure it’s not shutting down the lines of communication. Verbal and non-verbal cues can make a big difference in effective communication. And the timely delivery of feedback is key.
Your Sales Managers Can Start Coaching Today
Remember, coaching is not a once-a-month exercise. It’s not even reserved for once-a-week. It’s daily. And it’s behavior-focused. Managers can’t afford to wait for scheduled one-on-ones. You need to get them in a coaching cadence now. One that they will continue to follow the rest of the year. And one that’s focused on the right behaviors.
Use their own competitive nature to start measuring their coaching effectiveness. The Sales Coaching Scorecard can ignite the process.
If you would like to spend time with me and a hand picked team of experts on the topic of driving revenue per sales head up, come see me at The Studio in Dallas. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number.